Elephants’ Unforgettable Charge: A Frightening Surprise for British ‘I’m a Celeb’ Crew on South African Safari

A TV crew from Britain and Australia got more than they bargained for during their South African safari holiday.

An unexpected encounter with a wild herd of 40 elephants turned their leisure trip into a hair-raising adventure. The crew members had just wrapped up filming the Australian version of ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!’ in Kruger National Park.

While planning for a peaceful safari experience at a local lodge, they found themselves in a potentially dangerous predicament as a herd of elephants, spooked by the presence of a pride of lions, stampeded around their safari truck.

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The lions prowled for an effortless meal among the vulnerable elephant calves, causing the adult elephants to go into defense mode and inadvertently putting the tourists in the thick of the stampede.

The stampeding herd of mainly female elephants and young calves flee from lions across a dirt road in front of the safari truck. Source: Daily Mail

Trent Holmes, a 40-year-old TV producer who captured the heart-stopping scene on film, shared the details of their nerve-wracking experience.

The crew’s guide, Gert Kruger, had initially taken them off the main path due to a nearby elephant trumpeting. However, this detour soon turned into a harrowing encounter as they ended up right in the middle of the charging elephants.

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During the turmoil, the crew’s guide maintained composure and kept them safe by instructing them to stay quiet and composed.

An angry elephant bringing up the rear of the first part of the herd confronts the safari truck and stares down the tourists onboard. Source: Daily Mail
Another towering elephant, believed to be female, charges out of the bush at a safari truck for blocking the stampede herd’s route, which ironically darted straight in front of the tourists. Source: Daily Mail

Even after the nerve-wracking charges from the elephants, one of which came dangerously close to their vehicle, Kruger’s calm demeanor and experience helped defuse the situation.

Kruger finally managed to steer their truck away from the scene when the entire herd had crossed their path, ensuring a safe distance from the herd.

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According to Holmes, despite the terror, it was an extraordinary experience. They felt a profound sense of relief once they had put distance between themselves and the elephants.

The group in their safari truck – TV producer Trent Holmes, 40, (back far right) filmed the incredible stampede at Kruger National Park. Source: Daily Mail
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After a quick retreat, the massive female comes back through the bush on its third and most aggressive charge. Source: Daily Mail
Showing its intentions this time, a female elephant with two babies aggressively stomps across from the right side of the side, fearing its route to the rest of the herd is cut off. Source: Daily Mail

They couldn’t help but laugh at Kruger’s comment that such encounters were a daily occurrence, a claim that was hard to believe for the crew.

Fed up with the safari truck, two elephants approach from behind with a third nearby and show their frustration at being disturbed. Source: Daily Mail

Reflecting on the incident, Holmes revealed that the guide didn’t immediately drive away because the presence of lions had agitated the elephants, and any abrupt movements might have provoked them into attacking their vehicle.

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Elephants, weighing up to 6000kg and standing as tall as 11 feet, are known for their capability to cause severe damage to vehicles and even pose a deadly threat to humans when agitated. Each year, approximately 500 people worldwide lose their lives to elephant attacks.

A powerful elephant trunk pushes in close to the humans and could easily snatch one out. Source: Daily Mail
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One of the tusked mammals gets eyeball to eyeball with the terrified tourists, standing as close as a few feet away. Source: Daily Mail
A few of the irate elephants see off the safari truck as the driver starts its engine and retreats. Source:
The terrified group later posed in front of their safari truck. Trent Holmes (center in blue shirt) hangs from the side of the modified pickup truck. Source: Daily Mail
Safari ranger Gert Kruger who was the guide for the TV crew tourists β€˜was calm and telling us just to relax and to keep quiet.’ Source: Daily Mail
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